The problem of a handyman lawsuit is one that thousands of Americans worry about daily. They worry that anybody who comes onto the premises of their home will be looking to sue them. These individuals often hear about million-dollar lawsuits and other unfortunate situations for people who do not deserve them.
It is essential for a homeowner who has a handyman to be legally prepared. If any sort of injuries arises, the property owner needs to know what to do to defend themselves.
Issues of Liability
The question of a handyman being injured on a person’s premises is connected to liability. There is always a concern about who might be liable for an accident. Owners have the legal responsibility to ensure that their property is safe and free from avoidable hazards. If there was a hazard on your property and you failed to take care of it, you may be liable.
Handymen should have standard contracts that spell out the scope of work they are agreeing to perform. This scope of work has a certain number of tasks listed and a certain risk inherent in those tasks. A handyman may carry their own insurance, and you should check this before you hire them. Otherwise, you may end up with the bill in the case of an accident.
How You May Be Liable
There are many ways in which a person can open themselves up to a lawsuit from an injured handyman. These include:
- Having some sort of a broken section of a home or place of business
- Having a fence that has missing slats or an uneven floor
- Having shelves or additions to a home that can be unsteady and can break
All of these scenarios can cause you to be liable. There is also the possibility of a person asking a handyman to do something outside of the scope of their contract. A person who is brought in to fix a roof should not be fixing the electrical system due to electrical hazards. If they are asked to fix that system, there is a chance that they will not be held liable if they are injured while performing that task.
What to Do if You’re Being Sued
Anyone with an injured handyman on their property should make sure that the person receives adequate medical attention as soon as possible. This action would be their prerogative as a human being rather than simply a property owner. Once the person is safe and cared for, they should immediately seek the help of a lawyer.
The homeowner should assume that the individual is going to file a lawsuit. They should treat that person as a potential litigant until they have a clear statement from the person or their insurance company about the future of a case. That statement should certainly be in writing. If they do not receive the statement, they should certainly act to protect themselves from legal liability.
As a homeowner, you should not speak with the handyman about the case over the phone or in person. All communications should be in writing. You should also listen to your lawyer.
The lawyer will begin the process of collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. They will quickly get a basic theory of the case based on what they learned from the parties involved. This information will help inform the settlement offer that they will make.
The vast majority of handyman injury cases have some sort of liability argument at their heart. They will almost always result in a settlement that is paid either by an individual or an insurance company. The only question is whether or not the two sides can reach an agreement on a settlement that is reasonable for the circumstances.
Anyone who is facing a lawsuit from an injured handyman needs to try to avoid vilifying that individual. They are going through a stressful situation, and they may have thousands of dollars in medical bills to deal with. The handyman may have been asked to sue by their insurance company or some other entity to receive just compensation.
If a handyman was injured on your property, there is a decent chance that they are not acting with malice or trying to cause serious problems. However, at the same time, homeowners cannot be taken advantage of. If you are in this situation, you must act quickly and within the legal system in order to protect your rights.
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